On the morning of Wednesday, April 26 at 10:55 a.m., students, teachers, coaches and teammates filled the Webster Gym at Maclay School to celebrate one of Maclay’s top athletes. Senior Clayton Knox has officially signed his letter of intent to run cross country and track at the University of South Florida (USF). Knox has been a part of the Maclay varsity boys cross country team for five years and has also been a member of the Maclay varsity boys track and field team for four years. Knox always knew he wanted to run at the next level and is overjoyed about making it official.
“I’m excited for the competition at the next level,” Knox said. “When I leave, I just hope the team is better than when I started. I just want to have a positive impact [on the USF track and cross country teams].”
Though, Knox wouldn’t be where he is today without the support from Maclay track and cross country head coach Angie Milford as well as all of his Maclay teammates. Milford has been working with Knox since the second grade.
“I have watched [Knox] grow over the years and watched him become such a good runner,” Milford said. “Clayton has been to the state the last three years running, which is pretty hard to do. He has always been coachable, and he has been our best runner for the past two to three years.”
Additionally, one aspect of Knox’s running game that has enabled him to excel over the years has been his leadership and mentorship. Senior Lucas Mauch has run alongside Knox since fifth grade and recognizes his persistence through his lows and his ability to skyrocket through his highs.
“I think [Knox] will add persistence and leadership to the USF team, and he will be a great role model like he has been for the Maclay team for so many years,” Mauch said.
Knox looks forward to the next-level competition, but his favorite part of his running journey at Maclay has been his teammates.
“At the end of the day, [hanging out with my teammates is] what most time is spent doing,” Knox said. “Races are just a small part of it.”
Moreover, Knox knew USF was the perfect fit as soon as he toured its campus.
“When I toured the athletic facilities, I really liked it,” Knox said. “The school aligns really well with my major, and I knew I wanted to run in college so it really worked out.”
Looking toward the future, Milford explains that Knox will be remembered as a track and cross-country legend on Maclay’s Campus.
“I’ve watched his growth into a team leader, and his character is the best, and it shows [with all of his friends, family, teammates and coaches at his signing],” Milford said. “He is by far one of the best young men on this campus. Clayton will be missed and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s leaving behind. I wish him the best.”